Training Muay Thai with Glasses

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I came across an interesting article predicting that almost half of the world’s population will be myopic by the year 2050. Even as we speak, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population has myopia or shortsightedness. Now that’s a lot of half-blind people running around.

If you are a specky like myself, training Muay Thai can be a bit of a hassle. My prescription eyeglass is about -3.75 on each side and that makes me moderately short-sighted. There are certainly inconveniences training with or without prescription eye wear. After experimenting with both options, I quickly concluded that optically-nude is the way to go for me. That is a personal choice and there remains people who train with their glasses on. If you are thinking about taking up Muay Thai but are worried that your shortsightedness might be a hindrance, this article is for you.

Training Muay Thai for Short-Sighted People
There are several viable options for “myopians” when it comes to training Muay Thai:

Go Nude
At the kind of range Muay Thai is done -with pads, heavy bags or shadow boxing-, there is no need for 20/20 vision. And if you are sparring, there is also really no way around it. You just can’t spar with your specs on since there is a risk of breaking or worse, the danger of your specs cutting into your face or eyes. Unless you are severely myopic, going without glasses is one of the best options for the close contact sports of Muay Thai.

Spectacles Strap/Retainer
If you are adamant about leaving your glasses on for training, you can consider spectacles straps. Muay Thai consists of various vigorous movements so wearing head straps will keep your glasses secured. The downside is that the lenses may get fogged up or wet with sweat and you end up as good as not wearing them. As mentioned above, sparring is also out of the question if you have glasses on.

Exercise Headbands
Dripping sweat causes your glasses to slide off your nose and can make your lenses wet. Using sweatbands helps to absorb sweat from dripping down your face and onto your glasses. This still won’t help much to prevent your eyewear from flying off your face during padwork though. They are cheap exercise accessories and can be used for other sports, so they are still worth getting.

Prescription Goggles
Goggles are more secured and tougher so they are fairly common in competitive sports like basketball, volleyball and hockey. They are an alternative to wearing spectacles and are less susceptible to breaking from impact. Having your goggles knocked off in a spar is still an annoying possibility and getting punched with goggles on can still be dangerous. The other downside is that they tend to be rather costly.

Contacts
For clear vision and none of the issues presented by the above options, contact lens seem like THE ideal solution. Although not as much a hazard compared to spectacles, I have lost count of the number of times when someone’s contact lens has fallen out during sparring. For general training, contacts are less likely to pop out of the eyes and are indeed a perfect solution.

Conclusion
Don’t let your shortsightedness deter you from training Muay Thai. You don’t need perfect vision for practising Muay Thai. Unless you are blind, you will enjoy Muay Thai just as much as anyone in the gym. All you need to do is to get started. Don’t be afraid to make a spectacle of yourself. Train Muay Thai and you can be spectacular too. O-O

Chok dee!

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